Mince pies really are a favourite festive treat, and miles apart from any thing shop bought. If you are worried about making pastry from scratch, fear not. I urge you to give it a go. I often make my own mincemeat filling, but this template recipe will work well with shop bought or homemade. As always, try and fine the best quality ingredients to make these with.
Makes 12-15 pies
200g plain flour
110g butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
3-4 tablespoons cold water
400g mince meat
You’ll also need one beaten egg as your egg wash.
Place the flour and butter into a food processor and whizz until the mixture resembles fine sand. Add the egg yolk and salt, and 2 tablespoons of water. Whizz again until it forms a stiff, firm mixture. Add the remaining water as needed – remember that too much water will make the pastry too sticky.
Cover the pastry with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes or better still 30 minutes.
Once the pastry is made and chilled, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/ Gas Mark 3
Roll out the pastry between two sheets of greaseproof paper. It needs to be about 3-4 mm thick, no more. It will puff up during the cooking process.
Cut out discs to form the base of your pies and carefully put into the tins. Add a teaspoon of mincemeat to each pastry base. Take care not to overfill. Either brush the rim of the pastry base with beaten egg and add a disc to firm a lid, or alternatively place a cut out shape on top of the mincemeat. Egg wash your top or pastry shape and bake for around 18-22 minutes until the pastry is lightly browned and firm.
Remove to cool on a wire tray, although they are delicious eaten warm.